Ijebu-Ode to host National Athletics championship

Team Nigeria athletes

Exceptional talents have been discovered at the competition
The 2014 Dr. D. K. Olukoya U-18 National Athletics Championships will take place in Ijebu-Ode and not the earlier announced Yaba College of Technology  Sports Complex, PREMIUM TIMES has been informed.

The competition will serve as some sort of national trials and will take place at the Dipo Dina Stadium, Ijebu-Ode, from February 27-28.

Already, 15 states and seven clubs have registered for this edition.

The Secretary General of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN, Olumide Bamiduro, said more entries are still being expected. He also explained the choice of Ijebu-Ode as the preferred venue.

“This edition serves as trials for three major championships, the Africa Youth Championship in Gaborone, Botswana, which we are the defending champion, the IAAF World Junior Championships in Oregon, USA, and Youth Olympic Games, Nanjing, China. The AFN Secretary General explained.

“We opted for Ijebu Ode because we like the conducive environment it offers, remember we just had the long distant races there and it was a great success, so we feel it’s better to have the U-18 National Athletics Championships there too,” he added.

From its humble beginnings about four years ago, Dr. D .K U-18 Athletics Championship has grown to become the nation’s number one Junior Championship, which now serves as trial for major continental and global championships and games.

The championship has produced the likes of Florence  Uwakwe, a gold medalist at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, Bukola Abogunloko, a bronze and silver medalist in 400m and Medley Relay at the same edition of Youth Olympic Games.

Abogunloko was also a member of the Team Nigeria 4x400m quartet that made the finals at the London 2012 Olympics and Moscow 2013 IAAF World Championships.

Other rising stars discovered at the championship include Ese Brume, Africa Youth and Junior Champion in Long Jump, Favour Ada Benjamin, and Fabian Ejovi. The championship also led to the discovery of continental champions like Divine Oduduru, Ifeanyi Atuma, and a host of others.

It is believed that this edition, like previous ones, will also produce many continental and global champions.

The deadline for registration for states and clubs interested in participating in this year’s championships is midnight of Wednesday, February 25.

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